- COLUMBUS - Ohio House Speaker
Larry Householder placed a high-ranking staff attorney on paid leave yesterday
after police accused the man of being the city's so-called naked photographer.
- Stephen Linnen, 33, was charged with one count of gross
sexual imposition and one count of abduction.
- Police said they believe he is the man who has been exposing
himself to central Ohio and then photographing his astonished victims.
- He is scheduled to appear this morning in Franklin County
- The naked photographer has struck about 40 times over
the past 18 months, police said, and his conduct has grown more brazen
over time. Initially, he just ambushed his victims and - while wearing
little more than a knit cap and glasses - took their pictures.
- Last May, however, he grabbed one of two teenage girls
as they walked home from school, said Gahanna Police Detective Jeff Spence.
- "He would not let her go and he fondled her briefly,"
- Columbus police initially arrested Linnen Wednesday night
on charges of public indecency and assault after they spotted him hovering,
naked, in an alley where a woman had reported a confrontation just moments
before. Sunglasses and a knit cap were discovered nearby, police said.
- Linnen posted bond and was released.
- A search of his Columbus apartment turned up photographs
and other evidence that Spence said linked Linnen to the more serious charges.
- Police in Gahanna, a Columbus suburb, arrested him yesterday.
- Linnen is a 1998 graduate of the University of Akron
Law School and a 1993 graduate of Miami University where he ma jored in
philosophy, with an emphasis on ethics, according to his resume.
- After law school, he worked in the Ohio Senate, then
transferred to the House in 2003 where he served as deputy legal counsel.
He was regarded as a good employee, although a supervisor noted that he
had a habit of coming in late, according to his personnel file.
- Other House Republican staff members have landed in hot
water in recent years.
- Another Householder appointee, budget analyst John R.
Zakrajsek, was charged in 2000 with soliciting a prostitute and found guilty
of a lesser charge of criminal mischief, according to court records. Before
joining the speaker's staff, he worked for Speaker Pro Tempore Gary Cates.
Zakrajsek did not return calls seeking comment.
- And House Deputy Legal Counsel Stephen Cuckler has been
recommended for disciplinary action after he misrepresented himself as
a lawyer - before he had passed the bar exam.
- Householder spokesman Dwight Crum said staff troubles
are isolated incidents and said, "There are over 200 people who the
speaker had direct responsibility for hiring and firing."
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